Voters decide on $18 million bond
SUNNYSIDE, Wash.- School district employees over at Sunnyside say the town is getting much larger, and the school building sizes are still staying the same.
"We were probably about 750-800 students in four grades, now as we stand here today, we are about 1,900 students in four grades," said Superintendent Kevin Mackay.
By 2025, Mackay says the high school will pass the current capacity mark by over 200 students. The school district asked the community what types of changes they think the high school should add, and narrowed it down to three areas. One being to add a new building to help add new classrooms to prepare for the expected surge of students.
"There are three double classroom portables, those would go away. The greenhouse area would be relocated and improved," said Mackay.
The school district is also wanting to expand the fine arts building, and add a brand new multi-sport stadium complex. Mackay says adding to the high school would be the most affordable option, rather than building an entire new high school.
"Its going to be a huge amount of resources meaning money that's going to cost to build that, more money than any addition that we would take. High schools will probably be looking at somewhere around the 50, 60, 70 million dollar mark,"said Mackay.
This $18 million project, if approved, would cost Sunnyside tax payers an extra 10 to 20 dollars a month depending on your tax bracket, and would take about 20 years total for the debt to be paid. Some locals say the changes are a must for the high school.
"We are all concerned of course about our children keeping busy, staying out of drugs. So definitely I will vote yes for any improvements we can have," said Sunnyside voter Yolle Widdows-Guizar.
60 percent of the community would have to vote yes on the upcoming ballot in order for the school district to move forward with the project. If the town decides to go with the plan, the design would take between one to three years to finish.